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The news of investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the recent data breach on the new iPad with 3G connection by AT&T has been released. The release of this information has taken the world by storm because of the implications of this news. The news was confirmed to the Wall Street Journal on Thursday by the FBI. However, according to FBI, the case is still in its primary state. This information that the case is in the primary stages of investigation gives the company enough time to think of an adequate response.
Hacking as a cause of the security breach
AT&T hold the exclusive right for the 3G connections in the iPad, like all other products by Apple that needs a connection for internet service. A group of black hat hackers, calling themselves “Goatse Security” obtained the list of email addresses of 3G subscribers of iPad on last Wednesday. They took over more than 114,000 email addresses and iPad ICC-IDs. This they did when they hacked the website of AT&T.
How they hacked the system
After entering the serial number of the SIM card into the website, they were automatically able to generate a new email address for each user. The hackers used script language to pull out the email addresses based on the possible serial numbers; and that gave the whole list of the email IDs.
Whose information was hacked?
No other information except the email addresses were gained and AT&T already shut down the service. They mailed to each customer stating their apology for the incident. Some of these customers hold important position in the government and military as well as several officials of NASA, FAA and FCC. There are even some CEOs from large scale multinational organizations. This has brought a whole new meaning to the situation. If the company had lost some of the information of some common people at a random, then it would not have caused such a big furore, but since many of the people who lost their important personal details are high profile people, it is to be investigated to see if there is some sinister plan like a terrorist organization trying to get important information.
FBI handling the case
Any breach of security is a serious crime and when the national security is involved because of the high profile nature of the crime, there needed to be prompt action that was seen to be a deterrent to further attacks. Due to the severity of the crime, the FBI took over the case. According to Katherine Schweit, the spokesperson of FBI, the agency was always aware of these possible intrusions that could occur through the computer and had opened an investigation as soon as there was some inkling of doubt about the actual intrusion. She did not give any details on the possible suspects.
However, it is clear that Goatse Security is the first suspect and FBI will take a closer look on their recent activities as well as keep an eye on the present actions so that they are under their watchful eyes.